Monday, April 15, 2019

Interview with Garen Glazier, RUNE'S FOLLY

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
RUNE’S FOLLY is really the story of two characters. First, there’s Tansy McCoy. She’s a little snarky and prickly. She’s haunted by feelings she can’t quite explain. But she’s also smart and loyal and good at what she does: growing and using poisonous plants. Tansy shares the spotlight with Rune Hallows, a wizard with the ability to conjure ghosts. He’s brash, sarcastic, and not a little self-important, but hiding behind his witty quips and good looks is a broken heart.

And then there’s the Guild. When the Kingdom of Terranmar was a kingdom of magic, the Guild was an elite but secret group tasked with carrying out special missions for the Crown. Now in the days of the Great Fade, when magic is rare and the kingdom a shadow of its former self, the Guild, like all good things in Terranmar, has deteriorated. They’re not much more than a group of ambitious hustlers with a modicum of magic at their disposal running dubious jobs for a selfish king.

Besides Tansy there are four members of the Guild: Mallo, the ringleader and a shady sort of necromancer; Stap, the newest member with a suspicious taste for blood; Cava, part-dwarf and fully badass lady metalsmith; and Bert, a shifter that can bake a mean cookie.

They’ve been charged with bringing Rune Hallows back to the capital for his betrothal to the princess. Tansy reluctantly sets out on the journey to his faraway tower across some of Terranmar’s most treacherous territory.

But more than the princess’s hand is at stake. What seemed like a straightforward mission becomes the opportunity for Tansy to embrace her newfound powers and save the kingdom from the growing forces of magic ready to reclaim Terranmar.

RUNE’S FOLLY is the first book in the Tower of Shells duology.

Do you have a favorite character?
In RUNE’S FOLLY it would probably be Rune himself. I love how he’s a bit of a rogue and a wiseacre. But underneath it all he’s very wounded and vulnerable. I think that rawness is the key to what makes him so special to me.

In literature and culture at large Mary Poppins has always been a favorite of mine. She’s proper but mischievous, powerful but she keeps it on the DL, conceited but she’s got the skills to back it up. Plus she has the best outfits and (in the Disney version at least) serious pipes and mad dance moves.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
I’m a bit of a control freak so the freedom to follow my vision as an indie author is extremely appealing to me. I make all the editorial, design, and marketing decisions for my books. It’s a lot of pressure, but I love being my own boss. I don’t have to ask for anyone’s permission but my own!

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
The cover is always my favorite part of the book production process. For RUNE’S FOLLY I worked with Damonza because I loved the cover they created for Rati Mehrotra’s MARKSWOMAN. The whole process was done via email. First I sent them a description of the book and highlighted key elements from the story including the importance of flowers, shells, the tower, and the color yellow. I also sent them links to other covers besides Mehrotra’s that I really loved.

My talented designer took all that info and synthesized it into three different versions of a cover all of which were amazing in different ways. But after talking it over with my beta readers and staring at the options for several days I finally chose the version you see now. I love how it advertises the mystery and magic, the darkness and light, that are central to the story.

After a few tweaks on spacing and color the cover was ready to go and I couldn’t be happier!

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
When I’m working on a new book I try to show up to the page each weekday and reach my word count goal. That will shift depending on my schedule and how close I am to the publication deadline, but in general I aim for 1,000 – 1,500 words or about 3-5 pages per day. Any more than that and I notice the quality of my writing declines with each passing page.

I’m a night owl so I do a lot of work after the kids are in bed and the house is nice and quiet. I do my best thinking after the sun goes down so this strategy works well. I also try to treat writing like the job it is and really focus on the story when it’s writing time and avoid email and social media.

I rotate through a few favorite places in my house to do my writing including my desk, the couch, a comfy chaise, and the kitchen table. I also like to change things up and write at a café down the street sometimes. There’s a great energy there that helps the words flow.

No matter where I am I usually have my headphones on and music playing. Typically I choose something inspiring but also very familiar so I don’t get distracted by the lyrics or the beat. For RUNE’S FOLLY I listened to a lot of dreamy and dramatic piano music which suited the vibe of the story well.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I’m a bit of a pantser/plotter hybrid. Typically I’m first inspired by an image that I see or read about that I can’t get out of my head. When I have enough images I start to play with them and find hidden or unexpected connections between them. I start my story from there and I stop when I get stuck and plot out the next few chapters until I reach the end.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend working this way as often it means I need to go back to the first half of the story to make it match the back half. I’m sure I could save myself a lot of time by simply outlining the story from beginning to end, but so far my creative process hasn’t allowed for that.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Yes, with RUNE’S FOLLY I worked with Andera and Sean at Andrea Hurst & Associates on a developmental edit. They read through an early draft and gave me suggestions for improving the overall story flow. They also highlighted areas that needed to be fleshed out or cut away and called my attention to dialog that didn’t sound genuine. Their input was super insightful and helped make my story more cohesive and readable.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
I’ve learned that in many ways writing the story is the easy part. After you have a book that you’re proud of with characters that shine and a slick, readable storyline, then you need to go out and find your readers. Or really your readers need to be able to go out to their favorite bookish places and find you.

As an indie author that process is all up to you and, for better or worse, there’s no one right way to do it. It all comes down to doing your research, and hustling each day to get your book into the right readers’ hands. One of my favorite ways of doing that is by going on a blog tour so thank you so much for hosting me. It means a lot!

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Do not give up! The best thing about self-publishing is that everything is in your control. The hardest thing is…everything is in your control. That means if it’s going to happen, if your book is going to be successful, then it’s up to you.

Each step on the path is a challenge, a moment that will test your dedication, but stick with it. The reward of putting out a book you’re proud of and connecting with readers who have embraced your story is worth the struggle. And cherish the readers, bloggers, friends, and family that support you along the way. They’re worth more than gold!

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I love reading. Of course fantasy is my favorite genre, but I try to read broadly and across fiction and non-fiction – there’s always something to be learned from each book I pick up.

I’m also a big fan or all things nerdy. I love comic cons, the Marvel franchise, Harry Potter, imaginary creatures, folklore and fairy tales, to name but a few of my favorite things.

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
Cats (especially black ones), chocolate (all the chocolate!), coffee (cappuccino if there’s espresso available, cream and a pinch of sugar if not), text (words are my jam after all), night (there’s nothing better than writing with the moon for company).

Rune’s Folly
Garen Glazier
Publication date: February 5th 2019
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Young Adult

By day, Tansy McCoy is a florist making charmed bouquets for the citizens of Junonia, capital of the Kingdom of Terranmar. By night, she’s an assassin and the keeper of the Dangerous Garden where deadly blooms grow. Together with the town tailor, butcher, baker, and metalsmith (just don’t call her a candlestick maker), she is part of the Guild, a secret group of spell-wielding thieves and mercenaries. Their task: consolidate all that remains of the realm’s fading magic under the ruthless King Zeno’s control.
Impetuous loner Tansy chafes under her Guild demands. She longs to quit her town and trade and head for the hills. Unfortunately, King Zeno has other plans. He wants to marry off his daughter to Terranmar’s famously reclusive wizard, Rune Hallows, and he’s willing to have the Guild kidnap him to make it happen. Fail to deliver the wizard and the consequences will be swift and deadly.
Reluctant but determined, Tansy sets out on the long journey to faraway Wentletrap and Rune’s desolate tower by the sea. To get there she must cross a swamp full of sinister surprises, battle a werewolf, and outrace a bloodthirsty band of revenants, while she wrestles with her own magical powers that seem to be expanding in unpredictable ways.
But reaching Rune’s tower is only the beginning. When Tansy learns the real reason behind the king’s contest, she’ll need to decide whether to give in to the growing forces of magic ready to reclaim Terranmar or embrace her newfound powers to save the kingdom.

Author Bio:
I have always called Seattle home and find the perpetual gloom to be a wonderful writing ally. I like coffee shops, bookstores, dancing in my living room and singing in my car. The opening scene of Up makes me cry. Three Amigos makes me laugh. Fashion magazines, croissants, and long, long baths are my guilty pleasures. They might occur separately or together.
I prefer boxing classes to yoga, and I get some of my best ideas when I'm running. I loved school and spent more time than one really should getting a business degree in marketing and a master's in art history. In an ideal world I'd go to bed at 2am and wake up at 10am. I've never been an early bird, and I feel strongly that alarm clocks kill dreams.
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